The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) published a new report today that analyzes the profiles of individuals that joined the conflict in the Ukraine from abroad. The study, Career Break or New Career? Extremist Foreign Fighters in Ukraine, focuses on...
"However, according to all available information on Asov, to argue that the battalion is a monolithic Neo-Nazi, ultra-nationalist, and anti-Semitic unity is unjustified. German-extremism researcher, Alexander Ritzmann at Berlin’s Counter Extremism Project said recently, the Azov Battalion is definitely not a right-wing extremist Battalion in the Ukrainian army.
Riztmann noted that many of Asov’s right-wing extremist founding members had, in fact, left the Azov Battalion in the course of its integration into Ukraine’s National Guard. Once outside, they founded the right-wing extremist Azov movement."
CEP Senior Advisor Alexander Ritzmann writes: "Nonetheless, western media has come to develop a sort of Azov obsession, buoyed by a complete lack of nuance in the reporting around this group. One key factor missing in all of the analyses of the Azov: the difference between the Azov movement and the Azov regiment. The West’s Azov obsession and the inability to properly understand the overall phenomenon has even led to the spread of damaging anti-Ukraine propaganda in the media."
"Despite the Azov movement’s international notoriety, Ukraine “is not a cesspit for Nazi sympathizers,” according to Alexander Ritzmann, a senior adviser at the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), based in Berlin."
"Despite the Azov movement's international notoriety, Ukraine 'is not a cesspit for Nazi sympathizers,' according to Alexander Ritzmann, a senior adviser at the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), based in Berlin... Plus -- Ritzmann says -- there are far-right actors prominent in Russia, too. 'There is a far-right extremist problem on both sides in the conflict, but there seems to be a bias in only reporting on Ukraine's far-right problem,' he said."
"The battalion’s role in recapturing Mariupol in June 2014 from Russian-backed forces brought it 'hero status' in Ukraine, said Alexander Ritzmann, a senior adviser at the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), based in Berlin."
"Despite the Azov movement’s international notoriety, Ukraine “is not a cesspit for Nazi sympathizers,” according to Alexander Ritzmann, a senior adviser at the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), based in Berlin.
He noted that in the last elections in Ukraine in 2019, Azov’s political wing only won 2.15% of the vote, and Biletsky lost his seat in parliament."
CEP Senior Advisor Alexander Ritzmann referenced: "Gleichzeitig ist "Asow" von heute laut Experten nicht mehr "Asow" von 2014. Der politische Arm etwa versuche nach außen hin nicht mehr extremistisch aufzutreten, sagte Alexander Ritzmann vom Counter Extremism Projekt in Berlin der ARD. Er werte das aber vor allem als PR-Strategie."
CEP Senior Advisor Alexander Ritzmann quoted on the Azov in Ukraine: "Heute werbe das Regiment zwar weiter um Kämpfer, aber zahlenmäßig spiele das keine große Rolle mehr. Das erklärt Extremismusforscher Alexander Ritzmann im Gespräch mit dem "Deutschlandfunk". Denn im Krieg gegen die Ukraine rekrutiert die ukrainische Regierung selbst offiziell Freiwillige aus dem Ausland."
Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.
On November 29, 2020, an assailant detonated an explosives-filled military vehicle on an Afghan army base, killing at least 31 and wounding 24.
CEP on Twitter
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